What is light? The opposite of darkness or the absence of it? What is beauty? The opposite of ugliness? But what about strength and weakness? Wealth and poverty? Health and sickness?
Our philosophy pretty much makes use of opposites. We like to name, define, describe, and measure. Everything has a price. Nothing seems to have any value.
If you are this, then you can’t be that. Either this, either that…
Someone is beautiful, rich, famous, kind, patient…
Someone else is exactly the opposite.
This seems a bit wrong to me.
I come from suffering. I come from pain and sickness. A great deal of discomfort. If it’s not about me, then it’s about the world around me. Their pain and suffering causes me to suffer as well. Injustice makes me angry. So does cruelty. I go to bed and fall asleep thinking of ways to end these things. So I can stop being angry.
But I am also happy. When I listen to a song I love on repeat. When I workout. When I write. When I help out someone. When I give people advice.
How can this be?
We are all paradoxical.
They say a perfect man has a certain direction of intent. He knows what he wants, and he goes after it as if his life depends on it. But he is also free from outcome. He enjoys the process, but doesn’t worry about the outcome, whether or not he’ll reach his goal.
A bit paradoxical, don’t you think?
But life is like this. We try to think of it in different ways, which make more sense to us.
Death is not the opposite of life. Or the absence of it. Death coexists with life. We move closer to death as each day passes.
Also, happiness is not the opposite of sadness. They are both moments in time. Feelings that can coexist in the same person, depending on what a person is thinking about.
Ponder about this duality of our existence, this paradox of what it means to be human.